Prince Philip's coffin will be interred at Royal Vault at Windsor Castle after his funeral

PRINCE Philip's coffin will be interred in the Royal Vault at Windsor Castle after his funeral next Saturday.

The Queen has signed off on the final arrangements to lay her husband of more than 70 years to rest following his death on Friday at the age of 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh's body will lie at rest at Windsor Castle ahead of his funeral at St George's Chapel next Saturday at 3pm on April 17.

While helping to draw up details of his funeral himself, the Duke was known to have wanted a minimum of fuss.

In line with his wishes, Philip will not be given a state funeral despite being entitled to one as the monarch's husband.

The ceremonial funeral, which will be broadcast to the nation on TV, will take place in the grounds of Windsor Castle next Saturday with no public procession and Philip's coffin will be taken to the Royal Vault.

On the day of the funeral, the Duke's coffin will be moved to the state entrance of Windsor Castle by a bearer party from the Grenadier Guards.

His coffin will be draped with his personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers and his Naval cap and sword.

It will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially-modified Land Rover he helped to design, and will be followed by the Prince Charles and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.

The procession from the state entrance to the west steps of St George's Chapel will take eight minutes.

The route will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.

The Duke's coffin will enter the chapel to the national anthem before a nationwide minute's silence is held at 3pm – which will be broadcast on television.

His coffin will then be taken to the Royal Vault – where the bodies of the Queen’s beloved father, George VI, and grandfather, George V, were held before being moved to tombs elsewhere in the chapel.

Only 30 people will attend as guests and, under current guidelines, the Queen and the royal family will have to wear face masks and socially distance.

It has been confirmed that Prince Harry will attend the funeral, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised not to attend due to her pregnancy.

A Palace spokesman said: "This event will be much reduced in scale with no public access.

"In line with Government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the duke's funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle.

"The plans have been given final approval by the Queen and reflect appropriately Government advice.

"Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the duke.

"Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the duke's life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth."

The Royal Family has appealed to people who wish to pay their respects in person to stay at home instead.

It comes as:

  • A tearful Countess of Wessex said the Queen has been "amazing" after visiting the monarch today
  • The Tower of London leads 40-minute global gun salute in honour of Prince Philip as warships fire farewells to the Duke at sea
  • The Queen was 'by her husband's side' as he died – and Philip spent his final days enjoying the sunshine
  • Boris Johnson pays tribute to ‘extraordinary’ Prince Philip
  • Mourners flock to Buckingham Palace – but officials remove tributes in a bid to keep crowds under control

The Palace spokesman said: "While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects.

"The family's wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.

"His Royal Highness's funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life."

Prince Philip passed away two months and one day short of what would have been his 100th birthday.

The Queen, 94, shared a poignant photo of Philip in a heartfelt tribute to her "strength and guide".

Just after midday on Friday, the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK as the world mourns his death.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister's recommendation to announce a state of national mourning which is to be "observed by all" until Philip's funeral on April 17.

During the mourning period, flags will be flown at half-mast, MPs will wear black armbands in the Commons, and newsreaders will be expected to wear black clothes.

All ministerial appearances, including media interviews, will be shelved for the foreseeable future.

And the UK's major parties have agreed to stop campaigning against each other out of respect.

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